No need to actually introduce the mastermind and main driving force behind The Telescopes. Stephen Lawrie is a living legend, a pure artist, who never conformed to any trends. Last year, he released two albums ‘As Lights Return’ (Tapete Records) & ‘Stone Tape’ (Yard Press), and just before embarking on a European tour, we managed to have a chat with him. We are proud to welcome Stephen on board on then…
Hi Stephen & welcome to Last Day Deaf! Can you inform us about the latest news about The Telescopes?
Hi Christos, yes, we are about to embark on a brief tour in support of the new album. There will be dates in France, Switzerland and Italy. Specifically:
January 26 Ferrara – Korova Milk bar (Stephen Lawrie acoustic)
January 27 Roma – Städlin (Stephen Lawrie acoustic)
February 1 Rouen – Le 3 Piéces
February 2 TBC
February 3 Paris – La Pointe Lafayette
February 4 Vevey – Session Studio 603
February 5 TBC
February 6 Milano – Kraken
February 7 Firenze – TBC
February 8 Roma – Evol Club
February 9 Fontanafredda – Astro Club
February 10 Recanati – Circolo Dong
February 11 Modena – Arci Dude
February 12 Geneve – TBC
The band’s fans were really happy about last year’s releases ‘As Light Return’ on Tapete Records, & ‘Stone Tape’ on Yard Press. In what way do these two albums differ from each other? Why did you choose Yard Press for ‘Stone Tape’ release?
‘As Light Return‘ was recorded with a band (St Deluxe), ‘Stone Tape‘ was recorded alone. Yard Press approached me after a show at Fanfulla in Rome, they asked me to write a book, which developed into ‘Stone Tape‘. In turn, Yard Press expanded from a publishing house to also become a record label.
After almost 30 years since The Telescopes started, in what way do you think the project has evolved through the years?
Beyond the realm of natural vision.
One of my personal favourites still remains 2002’s ‘Third Wave’! An experimental shoegaze gem! So, always wanted to ask this question to you and here it is: What was the main inspiration, (and concept) for this album?
‘Third Wave‘ heralds the return of The Telescopes and the dawning of a new wave of psych music. The album explains The Telescopes eight-year absence and aims to push psyche music away from replicating previous waves to find new shores.
Studying the band’s Facebook page, I noticed 4 upcoming shows (3 in Italy & 1 in France). What should the audience expect from this one?
We will mostly be playing material from ‘Stone Tape‘. It will be less of a full on wall of sound experience and hopefully more of an intimate performance.
Back to the past now! What can you recall form your early 90’s Creation era & Alan McGee?
It was hard work, good times were had and great music was made.
All these years the only constant Telescopes’ member is you. Is there any reason behind this? How difficult is it to share mutual artistic visions with others?
Nothing worth pursuing is ever easy. People have lives; life has its own plans independent from The Telescopes. As the sole songwriter my life and The Telescopes are entwined to a large extent. Sometimes life takes me away from The Telescopes for a while, but I always seem to return from the void with new material. The Telescopes house has many rooms.
Which bands would you consider most influential regarding The Telescopes?
The Velvet Underground, Suicide, Can, The Stooges.
Which 3 albums would you say are the ones an unaware listener should start with The Telescopes and why?
I think the last three records would be an interesting place to start; the music is accessible and there are direct threads for the listener to explore that lead back through time to what has gone before.
Last but not least: What holds the future for the band?
Keep a listening ear.
Photo credits: Raul Divaev